Stouts Fire Nearly 60 Percent Contained

At about 24,000 acres and nearly 60 percent contained, firefighters will continue working through the night on the southern areas of the Stouts Creek Fire. Today, firefighters conducted burnout operations and prepared other areas for future burnouts, particularly north of Upper Cow Creek Road and Beaver Creek.

With lower relative humidity and higher temperatures today, fire activity increased in some areas. These weather conditions will likely help the crews fighting the fire’s south side to conduct effective burnouts, which removes the brush, trees and other fuel, on smaller acreage to eliminate the fuel and assist with working towards containment. On the north side, crews will continue eliminating heat to improve control lines.

“This has been a tough, ugly fire,” Incident Commander John Buckman during Wednesday’s night shift briefing. “It’s only because you’ve persistently and safely fought this fire for 14 straight nights that we’ve made significant progress. Thank you for your dedication to the surrounding communities. Keep persevering.”

All evacuation levels are at Level I.

With continued smoke in the area, those with health concerns should talk to their doctor or go to www.oregonsmoke.blogspot.com. There they will find information on wildfires and health as well as access to Air Quality Index monitors. Motorists are urged to be careful driving through smoke on the roads, and turn on their low beam headlights. Residents and travelers also are asked to not stop along Tiller-Trail Highway to view fire or helicopter activity as traffic is heavy with response vehicles.

There currently are 1,693 personnel assigned to the fire with 62 crews, 53 engines, 30 water tenders, 23 bulldozers and 16 helicopters.

The Stouts Creek Fire costs to date are $22.4 million. The Incident Management Team leading the effort under unified command is protecting lands that are about 50 percent on state protected lands, which include BLM and private lands, and 50 percent on the Umpqua National Forest. Twenty-three states and three Canadian provinces have provided staff for this effort. The fire is being managed cooperatively by the Oregon Department of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Incident Management Team 1 develops and leads the wildland fire suppression strategy.

The Incident Command Post, previously located at Days Creek Charter School, was moved to the main camp west of Days Creek. ­